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Ghost Story
by: Jim Clark, Per Richard Wagner’s creative direction in “The Flying Dutchman,” there’s precious little smooth sailing in store for Daland (Kevin Langan, front) and the opera’s namesake (Richard Paul Fink).

The Flying Dutchman

This is Richard Wagner's crossover work, rooted in his early sounds but foreshadowing his great innovations.

It's an intensely passionate tale of the redemptive power of love and song without too great a time commitment.

The Devil has condemned the Dutchman (Richard Paul Fink) and his ghost crew to sail the sea for eternity, or until he is redeemed by the love of a woman, whichever comes first.

Then the Dutchman meets Senta (Elizabeth Byrne), a young girl who is obsessed with his portrait like a girl with a copy of Tiger Beat.

She spurns her solid suitor, Erik (Mathew Kirchner), for a chance to commingle voices with the bipolar sailor.

Director Christopher Alden sets the action in a vaguely 1920s Germany and makes sure it all ends in tears, although with a twist.

Bladder alert: At two hours and 20 minutes, this is short opera for Wagner, but there will be no intermission. Sung in German with English surtitles. (More, see Page C6)

- Joseph Gallivan

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, March 24-31, Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay St., 503-241-1802, $39-$140; also available through Ticketmaster (503-790-2787), subject to service charges

FRIDAY

MUSIC

Dark Star Orchestra

If you've ever kicked yourself for not catching the Grateful Dead live (or were just too young to see them play), Dark Star Orchestra is a ticket to paradise.

Rather than act as a composite cover band, Dark Star Orchestra takes individual Dead shows and follows the set list.

The band's meticulous knowledge of Dead history and a shared improvisational spirit function as a virtual audio time machine.

Various members of the Dead have performed with - and sung the praises of - this Denver group. You can check out the band for yourself at either (or both) of the local performances.

- Barbara Mitchell

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $24, $40 both nights, all ages

DANCE

Conny Janssen Danst

The Dutch choreographer traps five men in a room and uses the tableau to explore one of her favorite themes: the tension between the individual and the larger group.

Janssen represents the last dancemaker to be honored in the Celebration of International Women Choreographers series created by dance presenter White Bird and Portland State University.

- Eric Bartels

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave., 503-725-3307, www.whitebird.org, $14-$25; also available through Ticketmaster (503-790-2787), subject to service charges

SATURDAY

MOVIES

Grindhouse double feature

Sex and violence used to be the province of cash-strapped filmmakers working outside the Hollywood system.

These works often turned up at drive-ins or seedy theaters called grindhouses.

Here are two greats of the genre, Jackie Chan in 'Snake in the Eagle's Shadow' and Italian director Lucio Fulci's 'The Beyond,' both in rare 35 mm prints.

Plus, be the first kid on your block to see footage from the upcoming Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez collaboration "Grindhouse".

- Anne Marie DiStefano

'Snake in Eagle's Shadow,' 7 p.m., and 'The Beyond,' 9 p.m., Saturday, March 24, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-281-4215, $6 for both films

SUNDAY

THEATER

'The Retreat From Moscow'

Artists Repertory Theatre looks to continue its run of successes with William Nicholson's Tony-nominated tale of a failing marriage.

Nicholson is best known for 'Shadowlands,' the story of the romance between writer C.S. Lewis and a divorced American poet, which became a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

It wasn't exactly upbeat fare and neither is this, but Artists Rep hopes audiences won over by the dark intensity of its last hit, the Chekhov adaptation 'Vanya,' will come back for more.

Local veterans JoAnn Johnson and Keith Scales star as the doomed couple, with Alex Moggridge as their long-suffering son.

- EB

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, through April 29, Artists Repertory Theatre Mainstage, 1516 S.W. Alder St., 503-241-1278, www.artistsrep.org, $20-$42.50

OUTING

Tulip Fest

Stroll through the early spring blooms of more than 150 varieties of colorful tulips and daffodils planted over 40 acres.

In addition to the showy gardens, the festival offers a children's garden and a chance to buy bulbs and fresh-cut flowers.

Weekend activities include a crafters' marketplace and live entertainment.

- Suzie Ridgway

9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through April 22, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S. Meridian Road, Woodburn, 1-800-711-2006, www.woodenshoe.com, $5 per vehicle Saturday and Sunday, free weekdays